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Thursday, November 5, 2009

Google Earth Historical Imagery of Berlin

Today, on their Lat Long Blog, Google announced the addition of historical imagery of Berlin to Google Earth. The new imagery includes images from 1945 and 1953. For more historical imagery, turn on the Rumsey Historical Maps layer in Google Earth.

Applications for Education
Next week marks the 20th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall. The historical imagery in Google Earth could be a good way to show students the changes in Berlin over the last 64 years.

Timelines.com has some good information about the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Here is a related item that may be of interest to you:
Touring the Remains of the Berlin Wall

LIFE Photographs Now Available In Animoto

Animoto is one of my favorite tools for students to use to create stunning multimedia projects. Last week Animoto announced a partnership with LIFE to bring new collections of imagery to Animoto users. Animoto users can find images from LIFE in the categories of Travel and Animals. LIFE is also using Animoto's technology on their website to create great videos like this one about ducks.

Applications for Education
The partnership between Animoto and LIFE makes great animal and scenery photography available to students. The animal photography could be used by elementary school or middle school students to create presentations for science classes in which they're studying animals.

Here are some related items that may be of interest to you:
Animoto Now Accepts Video Clips! This Is Awesome!
Animoto for Education - The End of Boring Slideshows
Animoto in the Special Education Classroom
Video Holiday Greetings Courtesy of Animoto
Using Animoto (and Glogster and Wordle) to Learn
Where I Live... Another Use for Animoto
A Student-Parent-Teacher Lesson Plan

Teaching With Contests

Academic contests can be a fun way to get students excited about writing an essay, creating a video, writing a poem, or completing any number of learning activities. Teaching With Contests is a blog designed to help you find academic contests that your students can participate in. A quick review of the blog will lead you to contests covering all K-12 content areas.

Thanks to Diane Krause for the link.

Smart.fm - Independent Learning Platform

Smart.fm is a free service designed to help you learn languages, mathematics, and history independently. At it's most basic, Smart.fm provides a flashcard-like service for learning languages, learning formulas, and learning facts. You can hear the flashcards read to you, read the flashcards, and play games based upon the flashcards you're studying. Smart.fm takes the flashcard concept a step farther by offering a personalized repetition schedule based upon what you've learned and what you haven't yet learned. The schedule adjusts each time you revisit your account. Watch the video below to learn more about how the Smart.fm system works.


If you want to take you're learning on the go, Smart.fm offers iPhone apps.

Smart.fm orginally launched in Japan as a language learning system and has grown to include other content areas. They have plans to include content from places like MIT's OpenCourseWare in the near future.

Applications for Education
Smart.fm could be a good way for students to supplement the content they're learning in your classroom. For example, the Spanish resources that I previewed could be great study aids for high school students learning Spanish.

Smart.fm also looks to be a good resource for students who have an interest in a particular topic when a course on that topic is not offered by their school.

Kidzillions - Parents Teaching Fiscal Responsibility

Kidzillions is a new service (still in Alpha) designed to help parents teach their pre-teen and teenage children fiscal responsibility. Kidzillions basically takes the idea of an allowance and applies it to an online format. The way that Kidzillions works is parents create accounts for themselves and their children. Then parents establish a list of chores and tasks along with the compensation for the tasks. When the child has completed a task, money can be transferred into their account. The child then can shop with the money, but all purchases have to be approved by the parents.

Applications for Education
Kidzillions looks like it could be a good way for parents to introduce the concepts of fiscal responsibility to their children.


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